2022 Physicians Practice definitive best states for doctors: 20-11

Our penultimate ranking of the best states to practice medicine.

Wondering where to start your practice? Curious where your state stacks up? Need something to rib your out-of-state colleagues about at the next conference? Look no further than this definitive ranking of which states in the union are the best suited for practicing medicine in 2022.

These rankings are based on six criteria using data from publicly available sources and Physicians Practice partners. The criteria are:

  • Cost of living
  • Physician density
  • Amount of state business taxes collected
  • Average malpractice insurance rates
  • Quality of life
  • Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI)

Looking for the other entries in this series?

Our previous full state rankings can be found here, here, and here.

Our physician density rankings can be found here and here.

Our physician taxes rankings can be found here and here.

Our malpractice insurance premium rankings can be found here and here.


Physicians Practice averaged each state’s ranking in the six criteria. The GPCI was used to break any ties.


Cost of living

The cost of living ranking was based on the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center, which itself based its ratings on averaging the indices of cities and metropolitan areas in each state.

Physician density

The physician density rankings are based on the Association of American Medical Colleges’ 2021 State Physician Workforce Data Report. This biennial report is based on data from the American Medical Association, the U.S. Census Bureau, the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine, and the National GME Census.

State business taxes collected

This ranking was based on the Tax Foundation’s Facts & Figures How Does Your State Compare? 2022. In particular, Physicians Practice used Table 3 which ranked the states on five criteria: corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and property tax.

Average malpractice insurance

The raw data used to calculate the average malpractice insurance cost was provided by the Cunningham Group. That data was then averaged out by Physicians Practice.

Quality of life

For the quality of life metric, Physicians Practice used Wallethub’s Best States to Retire rankings which were based on adjusted cost of living, lowest annual cost of in-home services, their own taxpayer ranking, the percentage of the workforce aged 65 and older, museums per capita, theaters per capita, percentage of population aged 65 and older, life expectancy, and property crime rate.


CMS uses the Geographic Practice Cost Indices (GPCI) to adjust Medicare physician payments to account for geographic differences in physicians’ costs. Each GPCI corresponds to one of the three main components of a Medicare physician payment. They are: physician work, practice expense, and malpractice expense. For the purposes of these rankings, Physicians Practices averaged the three GPCI’s together for each state, and major municipalities contained in each state. The lower the GPCI, the higher the ranking. Because of the importance of these criteria, specifically practice expenses, Physicians Practice used GPCI rankings as a tie-breaker in the event of a tie.